i present to you the most contradictory sentence of all time


On May 5th, 1993, three eight-year-old boys from West Memphis, AR, disappeared while riding their bikes around their neighbourhood. Their naked, beaten, and hogtied bodies were discovered in a drainage ditch the next day, in a local patch of woods known as Robin Hood Hills. Christopher Byers, Michael Moore, and Steve Branch had been subjected to a vicious beating, and two of the boys had been mutilated.
Three local teenagers were charged with the brutal triple murder - Jessie Misskelley Jnr (17), Jason Baldwin (16) and Damien Echols (18). In two sensational trials the trio were found guilty of the murders, and Damien Echols - the presumed ringleader - was sentenced to death. Baldwin and Misskelley were sentenced to life terms plus 40 years.

In 2011 all three accused struck a plea deal with the State of Arkansas and were released from prison after serving 18 years.

Over the years, four documentaries have been made about the case, all of them arguing that the ‘West Memphis 3’ are innocent and a miscarriage of justice occurred when the three teenagers were convicted of the murders. These documentaries are most peoples introduction to the case, and in many respects they skew or omit details of the crime to make the West Memphis 3 appear innocent. While these documentaries make valid criticisms of the investigation and the justice system, they fail to deliver the full, truthful story of the tragic murders. Without further ado, here’s the evidence you never get to see that points to the guilt of the West Memphis 3:

(NOTE: this post doesnt contain any source details because the website that contains all the case documents is currently inaccessible. I promise I will add the links and source details when I can access the website callahan8k.com again)


Its a little known fact that Echols, Misskelley, and Baldwin could not provide alibis for the night of the murders. The alibis presented in 'Paradise Lost’ and 'West of Memphis’ have been heavily distorted and/or lied about, so lets see what the three accused REALLY got up to on the night of May 5th:


In 'West of Memphis’, several shorts of footage from Jessie Misskelley’s trial shows a number of witnesses confirming that Misskelley attended a wrestling match with friends on the night of May 5th, 1993. An (undated) registry with Misskelley’s name on it and a photo of a wrestler is offered as proof that Misskelley was out of town on the night of the murders.

What 'West of Memphis’ conveniently leaves out is the footage of Jessie’s alibi witnesses being cross-examined by the prosecution. When questioned, every single one of them gave conflicting stories about who attended the match, who drove, where they went, and the places they visited. While all of them confirmed Jessie had tagged along on at least one trip to a wrestling match, none of them could say for sure if he was present on the night of May 5th, and receipts produced by the prosecution seemed to point to the fact that the wrestling trip with Jessie actually occurred several weeks before the murders.
In 'West of Memphis’ Misskelley’s attorney Dan Stidham complains that the jury “didn’t pay much attention” to Jessie’s alibi. Why is that? Because Jessie’s alibi witnesses gave such contradictory evidence that the jury didn’t believe them.


An interesting point to note is that none of the documentaries made about the case even bother to give Jason Baldwin an alibi for May 5th, 1993. Why? Because his alibi claims to police were so vague and unbelievable his defense lawyers didnt even try to submit them in court. This is an highly unusual step for the defense to take - if Baldwin had given them an alibi that seemed even half decent, his lawyers would have certainly submitted that evidence in trial.

The fact that Jason Baldwin’s lawyers didnt even bother to submit an alibi means only one thing; their client could not provide a single bit of proof he was elsewhere on the night of the murders.

Baldwin’s lawyers were aware that he had no proof of alibi, and they knew the prosecution would use this fact against him during cross examination. So they did the clever thing and did not bring up his alibi at all during the trial.

In the years since the murders, Jason Baldwin has never given an explanation for a lack of alibi nor has he attempted to provide one. His actions on the night of May 5th are therefore a complete mystery. Or are they?


Damien Echols’ alibi claims have been heavily distorted over the years, most notably in 'West of Memphis’ where alibi witness Jennifer Bearden (who was 12 at the time of the murders) claims she was on the phone with Echols all night on May 5th, 1993.

The murders of the three children are widely believed to have occurred between 6:30pm and 8:30pm on May 5th, 1993. Jennifer Bearden’s claim she was on the phone with Echols from 5:30pm to 9:30pm is presented as concrete proof Echols did not commit the murders.

“….she [Bearden] had been on the phone with Damien and Jason during the afternoon after school until about 9:30pm”

- Jennifer Bearden in 'West of Memphis’

In actuality, Damien Echols originally claimed to have talked to FOUR different girls at home between the hours of 4:00pm and 10:30pm on the night of the murders. This immediately contradicts what Jennifer Bearden says in 'West of Memphis’ where she claims ONLY SHE talked to Echols on the phone during the hours in question.

Whats more, Bearden’s statement she reads on camera in 'West of Memphis’ (above) is actually misleading; in the statement she gave to police on the 10th of September, 1993, Bearden states she rang Damien Echols at Jason Baldwin’s house between 4:15pm and 5:30pm, talked to BOTH of them for twenty minutes, before Damien told her to ring him back at 8:00pm because he and Jason were “going somewhere”.

Here is the part of Bearden’s interview with Bryn Ridge where she confirms this, verbatim:


RIDGE: About what time was that call made to Jason’s?

BEARDEN: Between - it had to be somewhere in between 4:15 and 5, something like that….5 or 5:30

RIDGE: Who answered the phone at Jason’s?


RIDGE: And did you talk to Damien?

BEARDEN: Yeah I talked to Jason for five minutes and the (inaudible) with Damien and he wasnt talking because they were playing video games with his little brother Matt

RIDGE: Okay, and after that conversation you had with him?

BEARDEN: He [Echols] said him and Jason were going to go somewhere, him and Jason were going somewhere, and that he, um, wanted me to call him later at his house around 8 and I said okay

RIDGE: Okay, did he say where he was going to go?



The above statement is Jennifer’s own words, transcribed by police four months after the murders. They directly contradict what she says in 'West of Memphis’, where she claims to have talked to Damien UNINTERRUPTED between the hours of 4:15 and 9:30.

Bearden’s interview with Bryn Ridge clearly demonstrates she rang Echols between 4:15-5:30 pm, talked with Echols and Baldwin for twenty minutes, before Echols told her to ring him back at 8:00pm. Furthermore, Bearden’s statement implies Echols was out WITH Jason Baldwin between the time of her first phone call at 4:15pm and the time she rang him back at 8:00pm.

Further down in her police statement, Bearden says she attempted to ring Echols again at 8pm, like he requested, BUT WAS TOLD HE WASNT HOME. Here is the excerpt from that statement, verbatim:


RIDGE: Okay, and when you called back about 8?

BEARDEN: His grandmother said he wasn’t there, and that I was supposed to call back around 9….and I called back around 9:20, 9:30 and I talk to him [Echols] for a little bit, but then I had to get off the phone because I wasn’t supposed to be on the phone after 9:30


Bearden told police in her statement that she rang Damien’s house at 8pm like he asked, but his grandmother (Francis Gosa) told her he wasn’t there. This is a HUGE piece of evidence against Echols. Not only does it prove Echols lied when he told police he was at home all night, but it places him outside his home WITH Jason Baldwin during the crucial hours the murders are believed to have been committed. The murders are thought to have occurred between 6:30pm and 8:30pm, remember? Jennifer Bearden’s statement only covers the time between 4:15pm to 5:30pm and after 9:20pm. She tried to reach Echols’ at 8:00pm, but couldn’t get a hold of him.

Contrary to what is presented in 'West of Memphis’, Damien’s Echols’ whereabouts are unaccounted for between the hours of 5:30pm and 9:20pm. Again, the murders are thought to have happened between 6:30pm and 8:30pm. Jennifer Bearden’s police statement does not support Echols’ claim he was at home all night talking on the phone. His other alibi witnesses - Holly George, Heather Cliett, and Domini Teer - further damage his alibi claims with their own police statements:

1) Holly George
Holly George told police she spoke with Damien Echols around 3:30pm on May 5th, 1993. She only called Echols once that day. Holly also claimed she and Echols engaged in a three-way phone call with Jennifer Bearden, and she only talked to Echols for five minutes.

There are several contradictory details in Holly George’s statement - she claimed to have talked to Damien AND Jennifer via three-way calling, yet Jennifer doesn’t mention a three-way call in her interview. Holly also states she rang Damien around 3:30pm and their conversation didn’t last past 4:00pm, which conflicts with Damien’s assertion he spoke with her much later in the evening.

George also mentions in her statement that she talked to Jennifer Bearden after the murders, who told her that she (Bearden) had spoken with Echols after George rang him, and tried to reach him later that evening but he wasn’t home. Jennifer Bearden confirms this in her own statement (above)

2) Heather Cliett
Heather Cliett is another girl whom Damien Echols claims to have spoken to on the phone on the day of the murders. In statements given to police on June 7th and 8th - immediately after Damien was arrested - Cliett stated that her, Holly George, and Jennifer Bearden had talked on the phone via three-way calling on the night of May 5th. She said Damien only joined the conversation around 10:00pm.

As you can see, Heather Cliett’s version of events are dramatically different from Holly George’s statement and Jennifer Bearden’s statement:

- Holly George claimed she had a three-way phone call only with Damien and Jennifer; she did not say Heather was also present during the three-way conversation.

- Jennifer Bearden does not mention a three-way call at all in her statement, despite two different people claiming she participated in one.

Since all three alibi witnesses - Bearden, George, and Cliett - gave conflicting statements about a three-way call between them and Damien, its impossible to know whether the call actually happened, and who was present if it DID happen. The important thing to note is that Heather Cliett states she talked to Echols AFTER 10:00pm, and did not talk to him before. Cliett’s statement doesn’t support Echols’ assertion he was at home until after 10:00pm.

3) Domini Teer
Domini Teer told prosecutors on the stand she spent the afternoon of May 5th with Damien Echols and Jason Baldwin. Domini was Echols’ pregnant girlfriend at the time.

She told prosecutor John Fogleman that Damien came to her house around 1:00pm on the day of the murders, and the two of them waited for Jason to come home from school, which he did around 3:25pm. Teer then states her, Damien, Jason, and a friend called Ken walked over to Hubert Bartoush’s (Jason’s uncle) house to watch Jason mow the lawns.

Teer tells Fogleman the time they arrived at Jason’s uncles house was around 4:00pm. Here is an excerpt from her testimony, verbatim:


FOGLEMAN: Okay. About what time did ya’ll get to his uncles?

TEER: Um….4 o'clock, something like that

FOGLEMAN: 4 or 4:15, something like that?

TEER: yeah, it was around there.


Domini told Fogleman after she, Damien, and Ken arrived at Jason’s uncles house at around 4:00pm, the three of them watched Jason mow the lawn.

Domini Teer’s testimony on the stand conflicts with Jennifer Bearden’s statements to police - remember, Jennifer told police she spoke to Damien AND Jason on the phone between 4:15pm and 5:30pm that day. Domini, however, told a prosecutor that she, Damien, Jason, and another friend went to an uncles house to mow the lawn, and they arrived there around 4:00pm- 4:15pm.

Damien cant of been on the phone with Bearden and travelling to Jason’s uncles house with Domini at the same time. One of the girls is either lying or mistaken about the times they were in contact with Damien.

Domini Teer also stated in court that after she and Echols watched Jason mow the lawns, she and Damien was picked up by his mother around 5:00pm. Damien’s mother dropped her home around 5:30pm, and the two didn’t speak again that night until 10:00pm when Damien rang her on the phone.

Domini Teer’s testimony only covers Echols’ whereabouts for the hours between 1:00pm and 5:30pm, and after 10:00pm on the night of May 5th. Her testimony clashes with the statement of Heather Cliett who also claimed to have talked to Echols around 10:00pm.


The testimony of Damien Echols’ alibi witnesses makes for confusing reading, as all four of them contradict his claim he was home all night, and with none of the statements actually providing him with an alibi: when compared together, not a single one of Damien’s four witnesses can vouch for his whereabouts for the hours between 5:30pm and 9:20pm on the day of the murder.

A lack of alibi in itself is not irrefutable proof of guilt. But when you consider the fact NONE of the three accused had a solid alibi, as well as the evidence that suggest at least two of the accused- Echols and Baldwin - were together walking around during the hours in question, it begs the question: where exactly were they? What were they doing? Why couldnt a single one of their witnesses verify their claims?

| AP Rhetorical Devices (pt. ii) |

| Day 2 - 5.9.2017 |

Here is part two! Keep on studying! I’ll leave some notes on these devices afterwards. :)

16. Paradox: statement that appears contradictory yet expresses a truth when viewed from another angle.
“Less is more.”

17. Polysyndeton: sentence that uses “and” or other conjunction (with no commas) to separate items in a series.
X and Y and Z

18. Pun: play on words that utilizes a word’s multiple meanings.
To write with a broken pencil is pointless.

19. Personification: characterizing objects or abstract concepts to have human-like qualities.
tree danced along with the playful wind.

20. Red Herring: when an author raises an irrelevant issue to draw attention away from the real issue. Main purpose is to distract.
- “What do you have to say about the lack of women in Congress?”
- “Look, I know you’re mad at me, but the polls show I won the election fair and square.”

21. Satire: used to arouse laughter at targets such as people or groups to expose human folly.
Swift’s proposal to eat the Irish babies to help the country of poverty and over population…he uses satire (eat the babies) to make his point that it is more important to educate the poor and treat them like humans.

22. Synecdoche: figure of speech in which a part of something is used to represent the whole.
“I have four mouths to feed at home!” (translation: I have four family members to feed at home)

23. Tu Quo Que (and you?): avoid the real argument by making similar charges against the opponent. Similar to: Ad Hominem, and Red Herring.
Mom: Smoking is bad for you and expensive! I hope to never see you do it.
Teen: But you did it when you were my age! So I can do it too!

24. False Authority: An “authority” (or professional) in one field that may know nothing of another field. Being knowledgeable on one area doesn’t make you smart in the other. Mainly used in advertising.
Kim Kardashian (famous figure/model) talking about rocket science to promote funding for space exploration. (”She’s famous, so she must know what she’s talking about!”)

25. Bandwagon Appeal: trying to get everyone on board with an idea or project.
“All the cool kids are watching the show, so should you!”

26. Slippery Slope: suggesting that one step with inevitably lead to more, negative steps.
If I fail this test, then that means I’ll never be able to go to college, and if I can’t get into college, I’ll end up with no job, and with no job, I’ll end up homeless and hungry for the rest of my life!”

27. Poisoning the Well: Committing an attack against the opponent before the opponent has had a change to introduce their argument/selves.
“Listen, that guy who’s going to present for us, don’t listen to him. He’s a total jerk outside of work and his apartment is a mess! He can’t be our next CEO.”

28. Opposing a Straw Man: writer picks only the opposition’s weakest or most significant point to refute. Used to oppose an oversimplified opposition to prove their point.
Steps…:Ignore real argument, create a pretend argument, defeat pretend argument, claim victory over real argument, do the victory dance,

29. Equivocation: when writer makes use of a word’s multiple meanings and changes the meanings in the middle of an argument without telling the audience about the shift. Uses ambiguous such as “right”, “justice”, or “experience”. Often appear valid, but they are not.
All trees have
barks, every dog barks, therefore, every dog is a tree.

30. Post Hoc: (after this, therefore also this) arguments that assume a faulty casual relationship. One event following another in time does not mean that first event caused the later event.
“I got a fever this morning, and last night I ate a hamburger, so the hamburger must have made me sick.”

These rhetorical devices will help you out the most in your analysis essay (question 2). The main thing you want to do when writing your essay, is to annotate any of these rhetorical devices in the passage given, and explain how the author of the passage used those rhetorical devices to either prove or make a point. You do not necessarily have to make an argument in this essay. So as a run down:
Start with annotating.
2.) Label the rhetorical device the author uses.
3.) Briefly explain the rhetorical device used (maybe even reference the line it’s in).
4.) Go into DETAIL about how the author uses said device to either prove, disapprove, or make a point .

Happy Studying~!

Okay, but guys I can’t express to you all enough how excited I am to finally see Donato in action - at his creepiest in the series. And Ishida’s characterization of Donato in this scene so far has been fantastic, because he manages to make Donato frighten us even after all the recent bloodshed in the series while still reminding the reader of his more sensitive/personal side.

Just in that phrase “Taste how it feels. How I feel.” In that short quip, Donato manages to fit in a megalomaniac comparison of himself to God and his personal, vulnerable emotions about Amon. 

Because the metaphor of Urie, crucified, watching from above certainly implies a God-like presence. (Without the power to intervene, it sounds more deist than Catholic, tbh. but I’ll let Donato pass on this one.) And in a way, he himself has watched over others in his priestly role. By running the orphanage, he always had that burden of caring for children in the name of God. However, the scene also indirectly references Donato’s seeming omniscience when it comes to the ghoul world, as Donato knew a notable amount of information about the events outside Cochlea despite having been imprisoned for years. Hinami’s intelligence became obsolete by the time of the second Cochlea raid. Donato’s, though, was still relied upon despite remaining in Cochlea for maybe a decade or longer. So, Donato himself has embodied throughout the series the Godly traits his metaphor in this scene emphasizes.

However, at the same time, that knowledge he accumulated couldn’t do anything to save Amon. He had to sit there and hear about his son’s capture, ghoulification, and possible death without the ability to protect or shelter him. It most likely felt like the equivalent to what he’s doing to Urie now: torturing the entrapped person’s loved one - one he’s been entrusted to take care of, as Uncle Higemaru’s monologue just highlighted - right in front of his eyes while he’s immobilized. And while Donato’s thirst for revenge is pretty prominent here, you can see that frustration with his own limitations, too. 

And that’s why I love those two sentences. Because they seem to present the reader with two seemingly contradictory meanings. It confuses you on whether to think of Donato as an omnipotent God or as a fallible mortal. And I think that’s what makes him one of the most terrifying types of villains.

My Advice and Tips On Fanfic Writing

So I’ve had some people asking or encouraging me to share my advice on writing. A lot of this is based on years of experience and trial-and-error as a writer for both fanfics and original stories. I am by no means a perfect writer. Nor do I claim to be high, mighty, famous and that everyone should follow this like the law. I just thought this would be fun for me and (hopefully) beneficial for you. So…here are some of my tips on how to write better fics in the crazy, wonderful world of fanfiction.

Keep reading

Visual Pleasure and Narrative Sherlock pt. 2: Objectifying The Woman

(Pt. 1, Watching the Detective)

So if your detective’s too pretty and all the girls & boys & others are looking at him a bit too much and a bit too wrong, then you gotta straighten things out. You better bring in a woman, sexualize the fuck out of her, and make clear that she’s the object of a desiring gaze that is obviously male—a gaze that is, at least in part, Sherlock’s. This gives the show a heterosexual object and tries to make Sherlock a heterosexual subject (that is, she’s the object that’s wanted, and he’s the subject who wants). I say “tries”: Sherlock looks at Irene, naked and clothed, intimately and not, but I see no sign that he ever takes erotic pleasure in it. I see no sexuality in his gaze. For Sherlock, Irene is not the object of desire but the object of deduction: it’s not pleasure he takes from the looking, it’s knowledge. And of course knowledge is power. This is the project of “A Scandal in Belgravia”: to bring in Irene Adler, align her with Sherlock and his deductive power, and then disempower her by making her the erotic object and him the knowing subject. In other words, she’s the source of visual pleasure, and he’s the source of narrative power. 

The episode identifies Sherlock with Irene with a long series of cross-cuts, camera angles, framing, and plot devices. These audacious mirrorings and doublings link them in a complex exchange of power and knowledge. They are paired, and at first Irene’s on top, visually and in terms of her power to move the plot along by temporarily beating Sherlock at the information game. But in the end, he outsmarts her and wins. The upshot is fairly simple and very traditional: Irene = sexual female body, Sherlock = rational male mind, with sexuality less powerful than rationality. So much, so obvious. But the episode just works so damn hard to do this—why? I think it’s because to this point in the series, Sherlock, in his beauty, his visual centrality, and most of all in his relation to John, has presented an unusual model of masculinity, complicated and perhaps contradictory—and ever so queer. This episode tries to straighten that out; in the end, however, it doesn’t fully succeed.

The first glimpse we have of Irene is her hand on her phone, where she keeps all that dangerous information, and then her negligéed ass walking toward a certain royal female person.

So this is Irene’s power at the start: information, and sexual agency. (To wit: information about sex.) In this she challenges Sherlock: in an early image we look at a photo of him in his fame and deductive power, and at her hand in its beauty and sensuality, covering up his face.

“I’m going to get you,” that hand says. (Yep, it’s a gorgeous object—but note that hands are also symbols of selfhood and agency, for they are how we manipulate, use tools, and touch.)

Keep reading

Who Dat?

Time to admit the sad truth: Moffat’s Doctor Who jumped the shark long ago, probably around the time River Song was revealed to be Melody Pond. Everything since has been a long, slow (though sometimes plummeting) descent into irritating preciousness, tone-deaf emotionalism, and truly idiotic plot-plunging. Culminating in this season and the tragic waste of Peter Capaldi’s potential to become one of the truly legendary Doctors.

It all just makes me ill.

Let’s start with the observation that whatever he may be, Stephan Moffat is not a writer equipped to plumb the depths of human emotion. He’s a talented quipster with a handful of neat plot tricks (ok, one plot trick) and absolutely no sense of how to develop either character or story.

I’ll discuss Moffat’s approach to characterization after I discuss his approach to story.

So, story first: Moffat’s best Doctor Who, “Blink,” is a fun puzzle piece that conceals its lack of dramatic depth with a clever plot twist and a smart horror premise. No characterization, no dramatic arc, no real story progression, just a nice series of scary moments that provide some chills and tension, and an “All You Zombies–” time travel plot gimmick that’s been done before (and is done again and again afterwards by Moffat himself, who apparently thinks all good plot twists should be repeated endlessly). “Silence In The Library” uses a variation of the time travel gimmick from “Blink,” as do most of the episodes featuring River Song, culminating in an entire season based on that same gimmick, inverted and replayed and run backward and forward, ad nauseam. It’s as if Moffat learned one thing about time travel (the Grandfather Paradox) and like the drunk who corners you at a party to elaborate on his insight into some quirk of politics, he will not stop talking about it, sure that he’s on to something Truly Profound And Original. He just won’t shut up. Please, God, make him shut up.

Now, characterization. I put characterization behind story because that’s what Moffat does. If you can call what he does writing characters. Moffat’s “characters” aren’t characters at all, in that they have no core personalities, only a series of quirks and twitches and provisional associations. Quick: who is Amy Pond when she isn’t a companion or Rory’s wife’s/girlfriend? What makes her tick (not just twitch)? What secret talent does she possess? What’s her opinion about football? Does she have a favorite band? A favorite color? Does she like animals? What gets under her skin? Why does she do what she does? Yes, yes, she’s The Girl Who Waited, just like Clara is The Impossible Girl. These are labels, not personalities. They neither identify nor justify character. They’re plot gimmicks, not people.

And the Doctor? Who is The Doctor in Moffat’s view? What really drives him? Curiosity? A deep-held sense of responsibility to look out for naive younger species? A raging self-contempt? What? What ties together the ticks and twitches and quirks and quips and run-on sentences of Moffat’s Doctor, what makes him more than an assemblage of mannerisms– what makes him a bleak and tragic and yet somehow hopeful figure? Anything? Is there anything consistent in Moffat’s version of The Doctor that tracks from the beginning of the Matt Smith era to the present day? Other than a deliberately contradictory series of quirky platitudes and an over-reliance on the insistence that The Doctor cannot be understood by Mere Mortals?

Matt Smith and Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill had sufficient charisma to obscure Moffat’s weaknesses for most of the fifth series, but even they struggled to give weight to the increasingly light-weight and pointless episodes that culminated in the disastrously confusing sixth series. Once Gillan and Darvill left the scene halfway through the seventh series, Moffat’s inability to create compelling characters or story arcs became painfully obvious with the introduction of Clara Oswald, the aptly-named Impossible Girl. More properly known as Clara Oswald, the Human Plot Device.

I don’t have the time or any interest in discussing the ridiculous second half of Series 7, other than to point out its main plot element (the Doctor needs to be Remembered somehow by the Impossible Girl in order to save him, like the audience at a performance of “Peter Pan” being urged to assert that they do believe in fairies to revive Tinkerbell) is a replay of the close of Series 5 (Amy remembers the Doctor at her wedding, bringing him back to life/reality), which was itself a replay of the close of Series 3 (Martha spreads the story of the Doctor among earth’s millions, and their belief in him revives the Doctor, etc.).

The present series, however, represents a crushingly new low, even for Moffat. Clara Oswald, the Impossible Girl, is now Clara Oswald, the Impossibly Boring Teacher who manages a double life adventuring with a Doctor she apparently doesn’t know and doesn’t particularly like and doesn’t seem to have much fun with, while also pursuing a completely unbelievable and uninteresting “relationship” with a fellow teacher with whom she has absolutely no chemistry, and who is himself a moral, intellectual and emotional cipher. Meanwhile we have Capaldi’s Doctor, who seems to have been plucked from a different decade of television entirely, appearing both clueless and arrogant in a way that makes me yearn desperately for Smith’s wacky quirky physicality. Not that Smith’s Doctor was any more consistent or inherently more interesting than Capaldi’s as written– he was just more fun to watch. The Twelfth Doctor (Thirteenth?) is simultaneously socially dense and intellectually shallow, depending more than ever on Moffat’s Patented Deus Ex Machinations to solve each week’s “puzzle” plot while doing little to further any growing sense of Who this particular Doctor is. Capaldi, a talented actor, is completely wasted by Moffat’s sparse characterization. There is literally no there there.

At this point, I’ve lost all interest in Moffat’s Doctor Who. I watch the episodes with the fascination of a bystander at a spectacular train wreck. I’m saddened by the waste of human potential and astounded by the hubris and stupidity that has brought such a wonderful character and story-universe to such an ugly end. Because I truly think this is the end of Doctor Who for this go-around. Even if the series continues beyond Series 8, if Moffat remains at the helm, it’s got nowhere to go.

I’m hoping that Moffat will leave for Bigger And Better Things, or be kicked out on his ass, whichever comes first. Let the Doctor sit on a shelf for a year or two, then have someone with both talent and a story to tell take him down and dust him off and do something timey-whimmy wibbly-wobbly to make the last few years disappear into an alternate reality. Bring us back to the Who of Series 3, or even 4, or at the least, the Who who wandered alone and grieving through three movies. Then start over.

Regeneration is a wonderful thing.